Look in the mirror. Not just a glance but take a few long moments to connect by looking deep into the eyes staring back at you. Did you look in the mirror? Do it now before reading further. Did you see someone you love? Did you see someone you do not like? More times than not, we see both! It is now time for only LOVE!
Now I am not here to preach a sermon but let’s think about this quote easily found in many versions of the bible, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Mark 12:31) (There are a number of like-quotes from other sources, however let’s use this one for simplicity.)
From an early age we are taught, “don’t be selfish!” If I understand this quote correctly, I must have some sort of love for myself before I can love my neighbor the same, right? If I REALLY love myself then I can REALLY love my neighbor and if I love myself at any level I am pretty sure that defines being selfish; or loving ME before I love others!
I will make the stand that it is OK to be selfish; when the endgame is to love thyself and then love others in the same manner (with a continuous improvement plan). Not yet a convinced?
If you have ever flown on a commercial flight you have heard more evidence of selfishness. The flight attendant says, “in the unlikely event of the loss of cabin pressure, the oxygen masks will automatically fall. Place one over your mouth and nose BEFORE you help others with theirs!” What? “Don’t be selfish,” we hear our mothers screaming! The fact of the matter is that we cannot help our neighbor if we are starved of oxygen. A clear and absolute act of selfishness or loving thy neighbor after thyself and then AS thyself!
There Is No Secret – Loving Yourself! If you have read my previous posts, you know that There is No Secret – It’s a Process. Loving yourself is no different. It is difficult to do, however is no secret and is the first step of a process to guide you on whatever path you have chosen; and it starts with believing in yourself and your abilities. It is my contention that we cannot truly believe unless we first love and therefore we MUST learn to love ourselves!
Back to the mirror for another look. To the person staring back at you, tell them that you love them! Tell them that you forgive them! Tell them that you will support them on any path they choose! Tell them that you will cheer for them! Tell them that you will pick them up when they fall! Tell them from the bottom of your heart that you love them UNCONDITIONALLY!